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For the past seven years, Ray Donovan has been a big winner for Showtime, both in terms of ratings and critical acclaim. Thus, it was a smack in the face when Showtime cancelled the crime drama after its recent cliffhanger-filled Season 7 finale. Star Liev Schreiber and showrunner David Hollander didn't even know it was coming, and the fanbase's response to the cancellation was quite loud and extremely negative. Celebrations may soon be in order, however, as it's being reported Ray Donovan will return for a proper conclusion.
At this time, Ray Donovan's return should still be filed in the Unconfirmed folder, as Showtime has yet to go public with anything official. However, the signs were already there that the cancellation would probably get reversed, with Liev Schreiber himself offering a recent glimmer of hope that answers for Season 7's biggest questions are on the way.
The smoking gun here is Page Six's report that claims Ray Donovan's return is a done deal. The would-be details haven't been fully formalized yet, but the thought is that the show would return either as a feature-length TV movie or with a limited set of episodes, as opposed to a full eighth season. That would probably be the best bet, all things considered, so that David Hollander and the creative team can fully wrap up all the characters' storylines without the excess narrative space to introduce even more new elements.
The sources that shared the claims of Ray Donovan's return gave much credit to the huge wave of support from fans following Showtime's cancellation news. The widespread reaction appears to have been a wake-up call for some execs who may not have been so keenly aware just how many people adore this show. After all, just because most Ray Donovan fans appreciated the show during its run without being fanatically vocal doesn't mean they don't exist.
Also not hurting anything is the fact that Ray Donovan's stages had already been rented by producers working on the strong assumption that Showtime would renew the drama for an eighth and final season. Similarly, David Hollander talked about having kept the creative process going as Season 7 ended, fully expecting to return to the writers room at some point.
While no extensive reasons have been given for Ray Donovan's cancellation, the unofficial word is that it was a negative byproduct of the recent merger between Showtime owner CBS and Viacom. Perhaps the fan backlash helped reverse whatever decision-process had been made at that time about the crime drama's future, though it's likely the nitty gritty will stay behind closed doors.
Here was Liev Schreiber's recent message to fans that started building the hype about Ray Donovan not being quite over yet.
What’s even more incredible is that it seems your voices have been heard. Too soon to say how or when, but with a little luck and your continued support, there will be more Ray Donovan. So to all the Donofans who got their bats out and beat the odds. Thank you.
Ray Donovan would reportedly get production back underway for its swan song at some point in the fall, assuming Showtime will make the news official at some point. In the meantime, the first seven seasons can be streamed on the Showtime Anytime app. And for those needing some guidance for all the new and returning shows that are on the way soon, head to our Winter and Spring premiere schedule.